How to Choose the Right One Near Princeton Alabama
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Princeton AL is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Princeton AL medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Princeton AL employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Princeton AL students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Princeton AL in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Princeton AL job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Princeton AL hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Princeton AL medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Princeton AL medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Princeton AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Princeton Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Princeton Alabama.